The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) confirms its confidence in Morocco and its business climate. According to the institution, which holds its annual meeting in Marrakech, the Kingdom has one of the most stable investment climates in the Arab region. Moroccan private sector companies also remain the most economically active than their counterparts in neighboring countries. Since the start of its activities in Morocco in September 2012 and until the end of April 2022, the cumulative investments of the EBRD in Morocco have reached 3.26 billion euros, including 1.6 billion in financial institutions, to strengthen their resilience and supporting the private sector.
The 31st edition of the EBRD Annual Meeting and Business Forum kicked off yesterday in Marrakech to last 3 days. This is the most important event of the annual cycle of this international financial institution whose round table is held by 71 countries, including Morocco, as well as the European Union and the European Investment Bank. A full house from the first day of this event, which is being held for the first time in a member country on the African continent and which promises the participation of around 1,500 decision-makers and observers from all over the world, such as senior officials, financial leaders, business leaders, entrepreneurs, as well as representatives of civil society and the international media. The first day kicked off with the annual meeting, behind closed doors, of donors who make an essential contribution to the work of the EBRD, by providing funds which require as a catalyst its investments in the countries of operations, from Central Europe to Central Asia via the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean regions (SEMED).
May 10 also saw the holding of several conferences at the Palais des Congrès in Marrakech, including one on the success of EBRD investments in Morocco and the SEMED region and another on regional perspectives. On the occasion of this annual meeting, the European Bank unveiled the results of its ten years of presence in Morocco. Since the start of its activities in the country in September 2012 and until the end of April 2022, the cumulative investments of the EBRD in the Kingdom have reached 3.26 billion euros, including 2.8 billion between 2015 and 2021, in favor of 83 projects. For the EBRD, Morocco has one of the most stable investment climates and one of the most diversified economies in the region. In terms of growth, job creation and attracting foreign direct investment, Moroccan private sector companies remain the most active than their counterparts in neighboring countries. However, EBRD experts point out, most of the added value of investments in Morocco remains limited to a relatively small number of companies at a time when the State remains at the heart of economic activity. In their eyes, SMEs (about 90% of Moroccan companies) find it difficult to invest, increase added value, develop and hire. “While Morocco has one of the most developed financial systems in Africa, it faces weaknesses, as this system is centered on banks and lacks a strong diversification of instruments and products.
About 28% of Moroccan companies say that access to finance is a major constraint to their operations”, indicate the economists of the EBRD. Thus, as part of its strategy for Morocco, the European Bank has invested 1 .6 billion euros in financial institutions, in ten years of presence, including 1.1 billion in the form of lines of financing, mainly for businesses The EBRD supports the development of the private sector and financial resilience in Morocco through a combination of financing, risk sharing and capacity building, the Bank provides direct financing as well as intermediated financing through lines of credit and private equity funds.
One of the sectors that has generated the most interventions from the European Bank is the green economy. The EBRD’s green financing has amounted to 728 million euros since 2012 in Morocco, including 273 million through the MORSEFF and GEFF program, deployed in partnership with Moroccan banks, in favor of local businesses. The institution’s cumulative commitments in sustainable infrastructure have reached 835 million euros. In addition, the EBRD has supported female entrepreneurship with an envelope of 35 million euros within the framework of the “Women in Business” programme. Support for SMEs also includes the Small Business Advice (ASB) programme, which focuses on improving corporate governance, standards and operational practices. Some 700 companies have so far benefited from this support. Moreover, at the end of April, Morocco remains the EBRD’s second largest client in the SEMED region where the European bank operates in 6 countries: Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. The Kingdom ranks behind Egypt, which tops the list of beneficiaries of the bank’s interventions in the Arab region, with a total of more than 8.55 billion euros for 144 projects. This is followed by Jordan (1.72 billion for 64 projects), Tunisia (1.45 billion euros/57 projects), Lebanon (820 million euros/10 projects) and Palestine (about 68.80 million euros). ‘euros) ‘euros/16 projects) where the bank has been operating since May 2017.
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